I was so excited when I connected with Miranda Andersen, a 14 year old filmaker and environmental activist who is very passionate about photography, conservation and nature. She is doing almost the same thing as me- though on the other side of the world, and has interviewed Richard Louv, an author and journalist who has written a lot about connecting children with nature. She has also made several short films, one about the Nature Deficit Disorder- on how children are disconnected with nature. She has also given a TEDx talk which you can view here.
I asked her to write a guest post for my blog, and she sent in a wonderful write-up with her pictures. I am so fascinated by the flora and fauna that Canada has- and I’m envious that she lives in the woods, her backyard almost like a heaven for birds, animals and insects!
Thank you Miranda for your beautiful write-up, and please continue to do what you do and inspire our generation!
My name is Miranda and I live in Vancouver, Canada. Lavanya recently wrote to me about my filmmaking and environmental work. She’s 13 and I’m 14. We live in very different parts of the world. Where she lives seems a million miles away and so exotic, but then maybe she feels the same about where I’m from. Just like Lavanya I write an on-line blog to share my thoughts and information about environmental issues. Something I’ve written about before in my blog is how technology can bring people who share similar interests about the environment together – people who share ideas and passions. We both share a love of nature and a huge desire to preserve it.
One of the first things Lavanya asked me about is whether or not we have many opportunities to work and learn outdoors in my school and I realized that as we get older, kids spend more and more time indoors when really we should be doing the opposite. When I think about some of my favourite days at school over the past few years, those memories all involve days when we were able to spend our time outside. In elementary school there was a teacher who took our class into the forest to write poetry; in middle school we spent a morning working alongside a local river to assess the water quality, turbidity and flow of that river; and in high school we recently visited a university campus to study DNA.
But perhaps my very favourite outdoor classroom is my own backyard. My family and I are very lucky to live in the woods, near the ocean and somewhat removed from the suburbs. Bears in the backyard, deer in the garden, salamanders in the ditch and more species of birds than we can name at our feeder – all regular visitors. We are fortunate enough to share space with them and we have a huge respect for their role in our environment’s biodiversity and the ecosystem we live in.
Lavanya shared with me some of the issues her country and the places she has visited are threatened by – issues not unlike what I have experienced in my own corner of the world. But those very issues are what have inspired us to action and have allowed people like Lavanya and I to commiserate over the state of the earth. And it is that kind of sharing and networking that gives me hope and I suspect gives Lavanya hope as well. Hope to make change, hope to dream and hope to make a difference.
Lavanya also wrote to me about my good friend Richard Louv, a journalist and author who lives in California, who has written a great deal about our need to stay connected to nature and to preserve it so I’d like to leave you with a quote he borrowed from Margaret Mead and used in one of his books. It goes like this, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Here’s to changing the world Lavanya!
Thank you for inviting me to guest blog.
You can visit Miranda at mirandaandersen.com.
*Photos by Miranda Andersen
Facebook page- Mynatureexperiences